"Continental Philosophy and Chickening Out"

This paper critically engages with Simon Glendinning’s The Idea of Continental Philosophy. Glendinning purports to show that there can be no coherent philosophical understanding of continental philosophy as comprising any sort of distinct or unified tradition. In this paper, however, I raise some questions about the largely unilateral direction in which his account of the motives for the divide is pursued: analytic philosophy is envisaged as pathologically projecting the internal and unavoidable threat of philosophical failure upon an external ‘continental’ other. I also contend that Glendinning’s claims regarding the lack of thematic and methodological continuity at work in continental philosophy are overstated. Without denying that there is less of a normative consensus undergirding this polyvocal tradition than is evinced in the analytic tradition, in the second half of the paper I will argue for a ‘quasi-unity’ that revolves around the co-imbrication of methodological considerations and what I characterise as continental philosophy’s ‘temporal turn’.
Keywords continental philosophy  time  method  Simon Glendinning
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DOI 10.1080/09672550802340473
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